ISLAMABAD, Oct 28 (APP):The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet Wednesday approved in principle the proposal aimed at facilitating the telecom sector by the waiver of certain taxes.

“In order to facilitate the Telecom sector by the waiver of certain taxes, ECC decided that the proposal may be granted approval in Principle,” said a press statement issued by the Finance Ministry.

The ECC meeting was chaired by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh while among others, it was attended by Minister for Railways, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Petroleum, Adviser to PM on Commerce, Adviser to PM on Revenue and Adviser to PM on Institutional Reforms and Austerity.

ECC further directed that a subcommittee may be constituted, consisting of Adviser to the PM on Revenue, Adviser to PM on Institutional Reforms & Austerity, Minister for Industries & production and Adviser Commerce, to prepare a modified proposal in view of the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) response for final approval.

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The committee also approved Technical Supplementary Grant of Rs. 109.47 million to the Ministry of Defence for the survey of the coastal areas. The amount was surrendered by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs as the Pakistan Army has offered to assist in the survey.

The Ministry of Maritime Affairs also presented another summary for the waiver of demurrage charges on Afghan Transit Cargo/Afghan bound containers stranded at Karachi ports.

Earlier, the government had decided to ask the terminal operators to waive of 75% of the demurrage charges on Afghan Transit containers /cargo landing at ports from March 22 to September 30, 2020 (Covid-19 period) including refund of demurrage charges already recovered from such importers of Afghan bound transit container/cargoes.

The Minister for Maritime Affairs advised Terminal Operators (TOs) to approach their principals for approval of 75% of demurrage charges by October 5, 2020. After the TOs showed their inability to accede to the Ministry’s request, the matter was brought to the ECC for guidance.

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ECC directed that the same committee that has been engaged with the terminal operators should again negotiate with the operators to reach an amicable solution to the issue.

ECC also approved the summary moved by the Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) for the allocation of another 38 MMCFD gas from 3 new wells REHMAN 6,7 and 8 to SSGCL, subject to all regulatory approvals.

The price of gas will be as per the applicable petroleum Policy. (The gas will be provided as per availability in the winter months).

ECC granted approval for the renewal of the contract with TAVANIR Iran for the purchase of 104MW of electricity subject to vetting by the Ministry of Law & Justice. The contract, if approved by the Ministry of Law and Justice will be valid till December 31, 2021.